I’m sitting on the bed, choking back the words in my throat.
You know, that time of choking on words because you’re hearts rather choking on you? That was me the other day.
I’d been telling my man what a hard time I was having with the kids, and he told me about the hard things I needed to hear, myself. Ouch.
It’s never fun owning your wrong when all you want is for someone else to own theirs. But I had just read in Proverbs 10:17 that “whoever heeds instruction is on the path to life, but he who rejects reproof leads others astray.”
The words had jumped at me. Because for so long I had had a beef about the kids not wanting to own their wrongs………and here I was, doing the same thing.
“You always have to be right.” The words stung me because it was what I hated most in them. My inner slogan had rather become, “Just own it!”
I swallow hard, and I own it. I’m not hearing them like I need to, and I project my thoughts onto their own hearts, feeling that I know what their motives are. Many times, mothers are spot on when the growing babies are in denial, stubbornly refusing to admit their wrong—but here I was, determined not to get my toes stepped on, and taking it too far.
Just because someone does something 20% of the time doesn’t mean they do it 100% of the time. And when there’s conflict, another is rarely 100% at fault even if they do have a fault.
Bitter words can be saving words. And I knew in that moment that I had to do what I want others to do. I had to own my failure. Because when we claim the grace of God, we must also embrace each word of God—whether it feels good, or not.
If Jesus owned the failure of the entire world, how can we not own the failure of our own, one, small person—especially when He’s already paid the price for what we’re about to admit to?
The photo of the cross and nail pierced into its wood sits before me. What on earth do I think I’m doing when I don’t want to own my sin? How can I want to hear words of grace but ignore words of rebuke?
Jesus heard words from His Father that were so difficult to hear that He walked the garden late at night with drops of sweat glistening on His forehead as He begged God or a way out.
Really get this, soul—the Son of God was about to be blamed for, be crucified for, be mocked and whipped for, lie in a dark tomb three days for, this very sin you almost can’t even admit. He was about to own the burden of, carry the weight of, hold the shame and guilt of this sin you want to pass onto the back of someone else for the sake of your own skin.
Perhaps our crooked places would become a bit more straight if we listened in on every word of God, not just the easy ones. Perhaps we would save more souls than lead others astray as it mentions in Proverbs 17.
If the earth, which holds the only tangible source of power we know will vanish in light of God’s power, how can we hold onto anything of this earth that has no power at all?
God’s words have resurrected the dead. They’ve brought creation to existence when there was nothing. And each word He speaks to you is purpose-filled for a grand culmination of good in your life and those lives affected by you.
I choked back the words I wanted to speak on that couch, and allow freedom to wash over my heart instead. Because of it, I hope to bring more freedom to those around me.
Because every single word of God is good. And repentance, as well as grace, is a gift.
In fact, I don’t think we get to have one without the other!